This weekend, the Vertical Challenge teams up for our biggest fundraiser of the year: Cynthia’s Challenge. Its purpose is to help families dealing with the often overwhelming issues associated with raising a child suffering from a severe disability. We love how this event brings people together and includes the element of “kids helping kids” that we try to make a core principle of our tour. You can register for the Vertical Challenge race at King Pine the way you normally would on our website. But there are a whole bunch of activities going on beyond the race, so also check out Cynthia’s Challenge online and register there as well for the special package King Pine is offering (it benefits the nonprofit).
Here’s some additional information Cynthia’s Challenge put together that will help you understand what it’s all about:
Funds raised from this year’s Cynthia’s Challenge, 24 Hour Ski-A-Thon, March 13-14 at King Pine Ski Area will benefit Tuftonboro, New Hampshire’s Evelynn Bunnell, a fifteen-year-old young lady who attends Kingswood Regional High School. Evelynn suffers from quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, secondary and extreme prematurity, epilepsy, vision abnormalities, cognitive impairments, ADHD and anxiety.
“Taking Evelynn to her appointments and out to run errands with me daily is very challenging with my older van,” said Evelynn’s father Michael Bunnell. “I lift her into a special needs car seat and then lift her manual chair in the back of my van and this is getting very hard on my back. A wheelchair accessible van will allow her to better access her community, friends and family. Evelynn would be more comfortable and safer being transported in her power wheelchair rather than in a car seat. A wheelchair accessible van would also have more room for her equipment and would be opening up a whole new world of activities for Evelynn that otherwise would not be possible. One of Evelynn’s biggest dreams is to be able to bring her powered wheelchair to the mall and go shopping.” Evelynn and her younger sister Charlotte are raised by their dad Michael and his fiancé Ashley Steinkopf.
Now in its seventh year, Cynthia’s Challenge 24-Hour Ski-A-Thon has raised over $310,000 to benefit children and their families. Starting in 2014, Cynthia Verrill was the first beneficiary, which resulted in her name being used to name the event. $35,000 was raised for Cynthia and used to provide a seizure detecting service dog. Since then, the event raised over $35,000 for Samantha Gillard in 2015; $61,000 for Kevin Dall in 2016; $50,000 for Faith Holt in 2017; $65,000 for Jacques Villeneuve in 2018, and $65,000 for Sylis Heck in 2019. All of those beneficiaries were in need of and provided wheel chair accessible vans with funds raised.